Acrylic Prototype

I finally got around to cutting an acrylic prototype with a few major changes. Firstly, the wood portion has been omitted entirely. This is mainly because I want to focus on completing the project rather than aiming for a project that is too time consumptive to realistically create in the span of a quarter. 

Secondly, the electronics package under the board was finalized, and an etched grip pattern was created as a separate layer.  

 The grip is etched into the prototype board as a hexagonal pattern. 

The grip is etched into the prototype board as a hexagonal pattern. 

The cut was very clean, with the holes for the trucks and Arduino lining up perfectly with the actual mounting holes for the parts. The bolt holes, however, we're consistently around 5-10 thou too small in diameter to accommodate the bolts with a close fit. I reamed the holes out on the board to test fit the components, but will increase the hole size accordingly for the actual polycarbonate board. 

 The acrylic prototype board with one of the trucks attached. 

The acrylic prototype board with one of the trucks attached. 

I greatly enjoy the aesthetics the shape and etching provide, but am concerned that the design has not had enough revisions to be finalized. My hope is that by having a physical model, I will not only be able to more easily craft the struts and support paneling (and come up with a plan for the electrical wiring), but also have a chance to reconsider the spacial layout and aesthetic appeal of the board's design as a whole.

One of my goals was not only to create a functional item, but to work with the physical properties of the materials, such as the photo-permeability of the acrylic and reflectivity of the aluminum and trucks, to create an object that is visually intriguing. Unfortunately, with the removal of the wood from the design, one of the most interesting artistic components - the interaction between the complex, organic texture of the wood with the homogenous and unnatural surfaces of the acrylic and metal - is lost. I hope to regain this dynamic by incorporating a natural texture somewhere else. I haven't decided what material, but would love to return to some sort of hardwood, as I originally intended. 

My next step in the project will be fabricating the struts and panneling, and testing for deflection under a load!